Virtually

The drop phrase for 2020 is ‘Virtual’. Yup, you read it right. I began to see this as a trending subject mid year 2019 while training for some races in the U.S. Virtual racing was not starting out, it was gaining speed.

Run to the Moon, run across the U.S., and all virtual. Solo, partnered, or Team. You choose how you want to do it as long as it gets done. Run, train, run, sign up, get a virtual and printable certificate of completion and some cool swag. Maybe even a really nice collectible medal to boot, or trophy if you raced in an Elite category.

I don’t know about you, but lacing up and pinning my bib on race day and walking into a starting line with other runners to gauge my competition – nothing like it in the world! It is however our reality. Would I race as I’ve raced before? Yes. I maybe alone on that starting line, but it is my choice how I live my life.

I love going for my runs, training in the park alone or with my fiance. I get weird looks now as I did before this ‘pandemic’ was here so I’m okay with it. I’m not okay with people being socially isolated, and not having a true outlet. Yes, I have made a choice to be active and to remain active regardless. Others have also made a choice to not be active. I get it. We are adults and as such we live with our choices, and also be it as it may die by them.

Being active provides me the opportunity to be healthy both mentally, and physically. How can we reach out to others to have what we have? Well, all it takes is honestly a wave when you’re running, or a funny remark while you’re suffering in the park while you workout to show that there is something that seems doable, or attainable to anyone because you made them feel like a human, made them smile or even laugh and now they’re intrigued about what you are doing.

There may be a possibility of them watching How To videos on exercise without equipment, or finding a running club or even ‘Virtual’ coaching. That’s where I come in, yes I do virtual / Remote coaching. Have been doing it for some time, and it is not going to go anywhere anytime soon. It’s actually going to pick up momentum as time goes by.

So, what are your thoughts on ‘Virtual’ coaching, racing? How will you motivate yourself, then others to help them become better versions of themselves in this environment we find ourselves in?

I’ll see you soon,

G

p.s. I’m actually contemplating signing up for some virtual races. What are you running/racing this summer?

Keep moving, mental health is your reward

The continuing order to endure enclosed spaces for most people means a lot of time spent being either complacent in their life’s choices, or deliberate on staying focused and active. Which are you?

Well, for starters I like being active. I love to workout, mostly outdoors with my ruck, kettlebell, sandbag, hilly area or just a trail. Either way, I can make it work also at home since exercise is not exclusive to either out of doors or indoors in the context of moving. Complexity is not useful, simplicity is the norm.

Using basic movement patterns of push/pull, press, extension, flexion, and rotation you can basically move in any pattern that your body can get into without much effort, but the magic in that pudding is the amount of times you perform it, and frequency with a good serving of either resistance, time or speed.

Look around your environment right now. Where are you seated? Let’s begin with a simple chair, either folding, fixed four legged model with or without padding. Pry it up against a wall and you can use it for squats if you’re learning to sit and stand again for rehab or prehab. Squats once more if you are trying box squats with a weight to a prescribed depth. How about upper body work by performing dips, on one chair while legs are elevated on the other, or push ups with feet atop of seat while hands are on floor?

Core work? Sure, lets try this: Sit ups with elevated feet on the seat portion of the chair, plank holds in same manner, or glute work like butt biters- where your butt raises from the floor while feet (heels) remain on seat portion of chair for multiple reps. Bridges (one legged) with heels in the same place (atop of seat) go for multiple reps/sets. You see that it’s just imagination that is the limiter.

Food items – no, not raw food like chicken or frozen fish. I’m talking about canned foods, and there are plenty of sizes and weights to use for exercises. Cans in a backpack/rucksack wrapped in a towel so it doesn’t jostle around in the pack while you exercise with it. You can run with the pack, squat it, swing it, plank with it and press it. Imagination once again is your limiter. Indoors/Outdoors are your playground.

Just because you’re asked to stay home does not mean you should be sedentary. You need to keep moving, because mental health is not a given. You’ll need to make the effort to sweat a little and get the benefits you so desire.

Happy Easter All!!

Butt biters, dips, hill bear crawls, ground to overhead, and team squats!

If you know, you know

Today the picture for this post sums it up very well about today’s WOD. Warm up was geared towards mobility, and general dynamic range of motion except the flexor stretch.

Working to make sure the unmarked soccer field route, and the requirements for the skills to be performed were understood we donned our rucks. So much dew on the field, and freshly mowed lawn/field. How fresh? Grass clippings everywhere – Fresh!

During the run, shoes began to get bogged with water, yay fun! Get on your belly and beat your face! Push-ups 50 times with the ruck. Not too shabby, except that I noticed a very particular scent of you know what where I was laying down and beating my face. To my surprise Weber stated that on his side the grass around him smelled like Chinese food.

I told him that may be the place where the last cook was taken out for bad Yelp reviews! Lol. Once you’re finished smelling the grass temporarily you look around and think, it’s not that bad….. pssst! I’ve got news for you, this dew is gonna be your friend. An intimate friend at that.

As we stood up we were somewhat cooled off a bit by the dampness, but a tad out of breath. Ruck swings for 50. Ever swing a ruck with weight in it, and it begins to slide inside so when your swing ends at the top the load falls within, and pulls you harder downward so you try your hardest Not to fall on your face every single time? Oh, I do miss my kb on those moments.

Balancing act done! After much swearing, and trying to figure out what’s next as you’re a little dizzy right about now. Did I mention the weight shifts inside the ruck? Oh, let’s cover the shoulder to shoulder. You have a ruck, shifting weight, wet hands, and if you’re wearing gloves like most of us did you’re GOING TO BE CHALLENGED!

Made it! Now, for the shoulder to shoulder for 50. Would you like to know what a rucksack beside the head feels like? Experience, and future reference box checked off for this one. Good thing I have a tough nugget otherwise that thud, then ringing went away fairly quick – with some expletives to boot. All under my breath, I didn’t want to anyone to be distracted. Hey, it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Okay, I said to myself the tough one is finally out of the way since this Russian twist with ruck stuff for 50 I’ll be sitting down, and I will finally catch my breath. I was almost overjoyed until I did the first ten. WTF!! No break, no slack and that bastard of a ruck was now a little damp to the point of discoloration from the dew. Still shifting weight also! Oh yeah! Game face on, and no audibles! F&$)%! Breathes were now short controlled gasps! I did laugh cynically because I programmed this and every WOD we do. I freaking LOVE IT!

Great, finished working on the Russian-twist movement! Wooo! I get to stand up! Yay, I forgot what was next so I walk over to the white board to read – ‘flutter kicks‘! I almost cried with joy! Laying down and holding my ruck! Wait, that little bugger has it in for me and it may decide to slip – off my hands and crush my head before I finish! Going fast G?! Hell yeah!

Stood up and now I’m ready to kill the rest of the workout! Oh, crap! Now up – ‘OH Lunge walk’!

Did I forget that this was a wet, and cumbersome ruck now! The little fucker will not win! Hauled it over head and took the first lunge step. As I proceeded forward it wanted to stay right where we started! Yep, it begun to fall backwards. Oh, yes you are correct…..shifting weight, wet ruck, wet gloves, and shoulders that are getting smoked!

Lunges are an ordeal, and not for he faint of heart! So do them often. I tell you from experience they are the building blocks to power, strength, stamina, speed, and balance. Let’s not forget the benefits also of great aesthetics! However I will never overlook the obvious – Sore as a horse kicking you on your ass – sore!

But, I like them, so we do them….. I did not take a popularity vote after they saw the workout – so there!

Short, very short of breath and now I’m going on my belly! First thought was – I’m going to be much cooler, and I will catch my breath. All I have to do is push my ruck from a prone position for half of a soccer field! Why? It’s the Low-crawl ruck push.

I saw everyone else having a great time, so much so that some walked around, kneeled down, and catching glances all around I honestly thought the crew was just getting ready to cheer me on! Nah! I was a bit delirious since they too were sucking wind, possibly cursing my name also. Heck, I had to do mental health check during he lunges!

Smoked the shoulder. Grass in my shorts, mouth, nose, ears, bag, gloves, and the ruck – it’s getting heavier because it’s very very wet. I squeezed the bag, and it let out a resounding slushy sound. Not good for me since I had only moved half the distance required to finish the low crawl ruck push. Ugh! Head down, suck it up, and let it burn!

I Passed the goal post! Now I switched to the high crawl/plank ruck drag half the soccer field. It ended where the low crawl began. My hips, shoulder, abs…you get the idea. They were not happy, and neither was the crew. However each of them felt, they all had laughed, yelled, cursed, laughed some more and we as a whole were much better for this because we came with a can do attitude! Cheered, and encouraged each other during this event.

Come to a workout like this knowing that the unknown is here for you to tackle takes a certain confidence, inner strength, and perseverance that not many possess. Many can try it, not many will stay. You have the physical portion of these movements that are superseded by the mental game.

You can tell who will come and tackle, and ultimately come back and become a permanent part of what we term ‘The Crew’.

Everyone is welcome. You will grown in so many ways. Just remember to challenge your inner self, and battle those demons. They have nothing on you! We can prove it, and are more than willing to show you how! One day, and one workout at a time.

Hope to see you here!

Mi A Gi

Magister Nosce!